Disney’s 55-year rule over a special tax district in Orlando, Florida, is coming to an end thanks to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, according to the Daily Wire.
Since 1967, the Reedy Creek Improvement District has controlled Disney in a self-governing capacity, using a special statute passed by the Florida Legislature to administer administrative facilities.
According to the website, “The District services 24 landowners and about 25,000 acres in Orange county and also Osceola county, that includes Walt Disney Co. as well as its wholly-owned affiliates.”
DeSantis will rename the district as the Central Florida Tourism Board and select five new district leaders. Gov. DeSantis said that the theme park had become “an unaccountable Corporation Kingdom” as a result of the region’s special rights.
According to DeSantis’ office, “Florida is collapsing the Corporate Kingdom and launching a new age of responsibility and openness.” The statement further stated, “These steps secure a state-controlled district responsible to the people rather than a corporate-controlled monarchy.”
In his response to the Florida measure, the president of Walt Disney World mostly avoided addressing the legislation’s provisions.
“Given the lengthy history of the Reedy Creek Improvement District, we are keeping an eye on the draft legislation’s development,” according to Jeff Vahle.
According to the statement, “Disney operates under a variety of various models and jurisdictions across the world, and regardless of the result, we remain dedicated to offering the greatest quality experience for the millions of visitors who visit each year.”
The act, according to the governor’s office, stops Disney from acquiring further land through eminent domain, ensuring Disney pays $700 million of unsecured debt and permanently ends Disney’s position as a self-governing entity. The Act also guarantees the following, according to the Daily Wire:
- imposes a term-limited board that is controlled by the state over Disney and its assets, with members chosen by the governor.
- enables the state to tax Disney in order to pay for potential road upgrades outside of the District.
- gives the leftist local administration in Orange County, which attempted to use the crisis to justify raising local taxes, no power over the district.
- imposes Florida law to stop Disney from receiving special treatment.
- makes it possible to compel Disney to make a donation to the community’s infrastructure.
- The governor’s administration claims that Disney will no longer be able to build nuclear power plants or airports as a result of the decision.
State Senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat, referred to the proposal as socialism.
“The means of production, products and services, pricing, and control over businesses are all under the jurisdiction of the government. This is socialism.”
Republicans are said to have denied these claims by claiming that the shift is motivated by “transparency and accountability.”